How much car to buy reasonably?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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Hawaiishrimp
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How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by Hawaiishrimp » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:48 pm

Hi there, I am looking to buy a daily car for commute and fun. I am planning to buy used/certified vehicle in order to avoid the huge initial depreciation. Some of the cars I am considering (used/certified): Miata, BRZ, 911 or Cayman, audi a5/s5, etc. Fun to drive is what I'm looking for. Early 40's. Always wanted a sport car someday when I can safely afford it without feeling guilty of not saving enough for the future/retirement.

My salary range is: $175k annually and net worth at about ~$2.x millions. Only debt I have is mortgage $312k @2.5% fixed. House is worth $850k. Monthly payment is about $2.3k (13 more years to go). I max my 401k and Roth annually. My job and wife' job are secured.

Please let me know how much car I can comfortably afford in your opinion? Not looking at supercar obviously, but what is still considered reasonably within my financial situation?

Thanks!
Last edited by Hawaiishrimp on Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:53 pm, edited 6 times in total.
I save and invest my money, so money can make money for me, so I don't have to make money eventually.

emoore
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by emoore » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:55 pm

Hawaiishrimp wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:48 pm
Hi there, I am looking to buy a daily car for commute and fun. I am planning to buy used/certified vehicle in order to avoid the huge initial depreciation.

My salary range is: $175k annually and net worth at about ~$2.x millions. Only debt I have is mortgage $312k. House is worth $850k. Monthly payment is about $2.3k (13 more years to go). I max my 401k and Roth annually.

Please let me know how much car I can comfortably afford in your opinion? Thanks!
Pretty much any car on the market. Not sure why you are concerned with how much car you can afford. It all depends on how much money you want to sink in a car.

barnaclebob
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by barnaclebob » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:57 pm

Pretty much anything under 100k. The only question is how much value you place on the money difference between 100k and a vehicle that meets your minimum requirements.

mountain-lion
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by mountain-lion » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:58 pm

The answer for questions like this is always, "It depends."

It mostly depends on your other financial goals. If you spend $1 here, you can't spend it there.

It would be perfectly reasonable for you to spend anywhere from $20,000 to $80,000 on a car. Perhaps more, perhaps less. Only you can determine if what you spent on a car could be better spent on other things, including "spending" it on some future, unknown thing or experience by saving.

Don't let those who make frugality their religion determine your decision. Living within your means is good for your financial well being. And staring at a nice bank balance can give you a lot of peace of mind. But once you get past a certain amount peace of mind, the marginal additional peace of mind that another dollar on that bank account contributes drops like a rock.

If it were me--with just the information I have from you, and not knowing your utility function or what your long term financial goals are, or how close you are to hitting your those goals, or how secure your job is--I would be comfortable spending about $50,000--all in. But only you can decide if that is OK or worth it for you.

arsenalfan
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by arsenalfan » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:59 pm

You should buy a 5 door 2018 GTI with DSG (or stick).
No more, no less. $25k out the door - go ahead and buy new if you want and keep for 10+ years.

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Kenkat
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by Kenkat » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:17 pm

Considering that your avatar is a yellow BMW, you should buy a yellow BMW.

teddytimtam
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by teddytimtam » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:23 pm

A good rule of thumb, combined car assets less than half annual income. You make enough where you don't have to worry too much about buying new/depreciating asset. Whatever you decide, pay in cash/full.

stuper1
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by stuper1 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:24 pm

For someone like you in a very comfortable financial position, who may value your time at a significant rate, maybe a lease is your best option. You are only tied up for say 3 years, and the car will be under warranty the entire time. Rinse and repeat at a reasonable monthly cost and never have to worry about major repairs, the hassle of re-selling, etc. Sure, you may lose out on a few bucks, but it probably won't matter much to you.

H-Town
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by H-Town » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:31 pm

Hawaiishrimp wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:48 pm
Hi there, I am looking to buy a daily car for commute and fun. I am planning to buy used/certified vehicle in order to avoid the huge initial depreciation.

My salary range is: $175k annually and net worth at about ~$2.x millions. Only debt I have is mortgage $312k. House is worth $850k. Monthly payment is about $2.3k (13 more years to go). I max my 401k and Roth annually.

Please let me know how much car I can comfortably afford in your opinion? Thanks!
An used M-3 or E63?

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Hawaiishrimp
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by Hawaiishrimp » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:35 pm

Kenkat wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:17 pm
Considering that your avatar is a yellow BMW, you should buy a yellow BMW.
With all the bad things I heard about BMW reliability and high cost of maintenance, I am probably not considering BMW... unfortunately.
With the exception of M240 or M2... I really like that car look and sound.
Last edited by Hawaiishrimp on Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I save and invest my money, so money can make money for me, so I don't have to make money eventually.

Daryl
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by Daryl » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:36 pm

Honda Civic.

I could afford to drive a "status symbol", but why? The new Civics are a lot of fun!

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Hawaiishrimp
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by Hawaiishrimp » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:36 pm

stuper1 wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:24 pm
For someone like you in a very comfortable financial position, who may value your time at a significant rate, maybe a lease is your best option. You are only tied up for say 3 years, and the car will be under warranty the entire time. Rinse and repeat at a reasonable monthly cost and never have to worry about major repairs, the hassle of re-selling, etc. Sure, you may lose out on a few bucks, but it probably won't matter much to you.
I am not sure I'm into leasing given all I heard from Dave Ramsey.
I save and invest my money, so money can make money for me, so I don't have to make money eventually.

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dm200
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by dm200 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:37 pm

Hawaiishrimp wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:48 pm
Hi there, I am looking to buy a daily car for commute and fun. I am planning to buy used/certified vehicle in order to avoid the huge initial depreciation.
My salary range is: $175k annually and net worth at about ~$2.x millions. Only debt I have is mortgage $312k. House is worth $850k. Monthly payment is about $2.3k (13 more years to go). I max my 401k and Roth annually. My job and wife' job are secured.
Please let me know how much car I can comfortably afford in your opinion? Thanks!
Buy a new Camry - perhaps a hybrid. You can easily afford it - and will be a very modest cost in relation to assets and income. Over time - difference between new and used - will shrink if you keep the new one for quite a while.

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Hawaiishrimp
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by Hawaiishrimp » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:37 pm

Daryl wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:36 pm
Honda Civic.

I could afford to drive a "status symbol", but why? The new Civics are a lot of fun!
Civic is on my list.
I save and invest my money, so money can make money for me, so I don't have to make money eventually.

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Hawaiishrimp
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by Hawaiishrimp » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:39 pm

arsenalfan wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:59 pm
You should buy a 5 door 2018 GTI with DSG (or stick).
No more, no less. $25k out the door - go ahead and buy new if you want and keep for 10+ years.
Why GTI? May I ask?
I save and invest my money, so money can make money for me, so I don't have to make money eventually.

WhiteMaxima
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by WhiteMaxima » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:39 pm

used Kia Rio or used 3 cylinder Suzuki Swift 5 speed-manual, 50 mpg.

Housedoc
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by Housedoc » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:48 pm

Get off the stack of dollars and buy a Camry or Accord. Easily 10yrs of life from either. Costco Auto buying service very good. I enjoy the haggle but Costco saved money and time.

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Kenkat
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by Kenkat » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:57 pm

Hawaiishrimp wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:35 pm
Kenkat wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:17 pm
Considering that your avatar is a yellow BMW, you should buy a yellow BMW.
With all the bad things I heard about BMW reliability and high cost of maintenance, I am not considering BMW... unfortunately.
I am not sure you will find Porsche or Audi any more reliable or cheaper to maintain than BMW. BRZ is a good value for fun with some practicality. Miata is also but pretty small as a daily driver; I also don’t like convertibles as daily drivers although some may disagree.

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Hawaiishrimp
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by Hawaiishrimp » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:59 pm

mountain-lion wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:58 pm
The answer for questions like this is always, "It depends."

It mostly depends on your other financial goals. If you spend $1 here, you can't spend it there.

It would be perfectly reasonable for you to spend anywhere from $20,000 to $80,000 on a car. Perhaps more, perhaps less. Only you can determine if what you spent on a car could be better spent on other things, including "spending" it on some future, unknown thing or experience by saving.

Don't let those who make frugality their religion determine your decision. Living within your means is good for your financial well being. And staring at a nice bank balance can give you a lot of peace of mind. But once you get past a certain amount peace of mind, the marginal additional peace of mind that another dollar on that bank account contributes drops like a rock.

If it were me--with just the information I have from you, and not knowing your utility function or what your long term financial goals are, or how close you are to hitting your those goals, or how secure your job is--I would be comfortable spending about $50,000--all in. But only you can decide if that is OK or worth it for you.
Sincerely thank you for this comment. I am having a hard time to spend money on luxury items mentally. It scares me, in fact, to spend that much money on anything (e.g. car)... I need that confirmation.
I save and invest my money, so money can make money for me, so I don't have to make money eventually.

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Alexa9
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by Alexa9 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:08 pm

Porsche 911 is a highly rated sports car. Reliable, fun to drive, not too flashy. Fairly good used deals.
A Miata is also a great fun car and affordable new.
If you would enjoy it, then it's worth it. I'm pretty sure you can afford it. :wink:
Just don't go crazy and get a Lambo.

HornedToad
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by HornedToad » Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:12 pm

Based on income: ~$25-30k

Based on net worth: $50k+

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Cycle
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by Cycle » Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:18 pm

50k, wouldn't do more

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jabberwockOG
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by jabberwockOG » Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:40 pm

Given your stated assets, and desire for a sporty car - I'd suggest a new MB AMG E or S series coupe or a 4 or 6 series BMW. Only own these cars under a new car or extended warranty.

Or if you want a highly reliable sporty luxury car check out a Lexus RC F.

Miata is fun but very small and limited utility.

bubbadog
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by bubbadog » Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:44 pm

Big spread between a Miata and a 911. Can you narrow it down a little more? To minimize depreciation, I would consider a 997 version of the Porsche 911. You can easily afford it and it is a great car.

Rifampin
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by Rifampin » Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:46 pm

Lotus Evora 400
Toyota Camry motor with supercar looks and handling.
This has to be the boglehead sports car choice and will be my next fun car after selling my E46 M3.

strafe
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by strafe » Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:51 pm

Hawaiishrimp wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:39 pm
arsenalfan wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:59 pm
You should buy a 5 door 2018 GTI with DSG (or stick).
No more, no less. $25k out the door - go ahead and buy new if you want and keep for 10+ years.
Why GTI? May I ask?
I doubt any car on the market will bring you more fun per dollar than the VW GTI. Go test drive one, you'll see.

This review about sums it up.

TX_Drew
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by TX_Drew » Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:59 pm

I’m in a similar situation. Need a new can in next 12-18 months. Just about FI today. I paid in the mid 40s for my last car which I thought was a lot. Now even though I could pay cash for anything, I find myself eying the new accords. I know, so lame.

It’s really hard for me to shake my frugal roots. Guess that could be considered a good thing, or a bad thing being a scrooge.

Tesla Model S is fastest out there...and it drives itself. M5 BMW all blacked out is pretty slick. You can afford maintenance. Cadillac 2020 models drive themselves. I drove a 500 HP one once that was ridiculous.

Range Rover sport looks pretty nice.

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Hawaiishrimp
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by Hawaiishrimp » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:04 pm

TX_Drew wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:59 pm
I’m in a similar situation. Need a new can in next 12-18 months. Just about FI today. I paid in the mid 40s for my last car which I thought was a lot. Now even though I could pay cash for anything, I find myself eying the new accords. I know, so lame.

It’s really hard for me to shake my frugal roots. Guess that could be considered a good thing, or a bad thing being a scrooge.

Tesla Model S is fastest out there...and it drives itself. M5 BMW all blacked out is pretty slick. You can afford maintenance. Cadillac 2020 models drive themselves. I drove a 500 HP one once that was ridiculous.

Range Rover sport looks pretty nice.
I can totally understand your feeling and I'm sure you can understand mine. Based on the numbers, I should be able to afford a sport car, but somehow I feel like wasting money to buy it... I don't "need" it, it's a "want". Hence, I can live without it. And then, what's the point of saving if I don't use it etc. It's that cycle again.. :oops:
I save and invest my money, so money can make money for me, so I don't have to make money eventually.

ssquared87
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by ssquared87 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:12 pm

strafe wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:51 pm
Hawaiishrimp wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:39 pm
arsenalfan wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:59 pm
You should buy a 5 door 2018 GTI with DSG (or stick).
No more, no less. $25k out the door - go ahead and buy new if you want and keep for 10+ years.
Why GTI? May I ask?
I doubt any car on the market will bring you more fun per dollar than the VW GTI. Go test drive one, you'll see.

This review about sums it up.
The BRZ and MX-5 are way more fun.

But they don’t provide as good of a balance between fun and comfort as the GTI does. GTI is pretty good at everything but not on the same level as the BRZ and MX- from a driver engagement perspective

ssquared87
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by ssquared87 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:21 pm

Hawaiishrimp wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:35 pm
Kenkat wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:17 pm
Considering that your avatar is a yellow BMW, you should buy a yellow BMW.
With all the bad things I heard about BMW reliability and high cost of maintenance, I am probably not considering BMW... unfortunately.
With the exception of M240 or M2... I really like that car look and sound.
Most of that stuff is BS. BMW has some models and engines that are extremely troubled. If you know what models to stay away from, and you have a good independent mechanic or don’t mind watching YouTube videos and doing repairs/maintenance yourself they are pretty cheap cars to own.

I’m on my 3rd BMW and no major problems with any of them. My 98 E36 M3 has 150k miles and the only major repairs have been replacing the radiator, alternator, and fuel pump plus standard maintenance like changing fluids. Still have the car and drive it on weekends

My E90 328 was nearly trouble free for 6 years and 70k miles till it was rear ended. valve cover gasket which was pretty cheap and took me about 2 hrs to change after watching some YouTube videos was the only issue. Luckily it held up extremely well and saved me in the crash.

My 2017 530 has 12k miles and is solid as a rock. We shall see how things go with this one over the next few years.

Best bet for reliability is to stick with the inline 6 engines and stay away from the N54. That engine was spectacular from a performance perspective but had no business being in a mainstream vehicle.

TX_Drew
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by TX_Drew » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:26 pm

Hawaiishrimp wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:04 pm
TX_Drew wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:59 pm
I’m in a similar situation. Need a new can in next 12-18 months. Just about FI today. I paid in the mid 40s for my last car which I thought was a lot. Now even though I could pay cash for anything, I find myself eying the new accords. I know, so lame.

It’s really hard for me to shake my frugal roots. Guess that could be considered a good thing, or a bad thing being a scrooge.

Tesla Model S is fastest out there...and it drives itself. M5 BMW all blacked out is pretty slick. You can afford maintenance. Cadillac 2020 models drive themselves. I drove a 500 HP one once that was ridiculous.

Range Rover sport looks pretty nice.
I can totally understand your feeling and I'm sure you can understand mine. Based on the numbers, I should be able to afford a sport car, but somehow I feel like wasting money to buy it... I don't "need" it, it's a "want". Hence, I can live without it. And then, what's the point of saving if I don't use it etc. It's that cycle again.. :oops:
Maybe a solution that appeals to both sides of the argument: a 1 or 2 year old extreamly nice car...think 60-80k used. Or a solid new 50k car. Either way you showed a touch of restraint, but will still be happy with car.

arsenalfan
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by arsenalfan » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:37 pm

Regarding the GTI - it's a skillful compromise, Jack-of-all-trades, Master-of-none. 5 door is practical for kids/storage space, sporty, peppy, adequate gas mileage turbo 4, and FWD has been fine in winter.

I was being cheeky recommending it - so many good options as you can see. My situation was needed a true commuter car 8k miles per year, M-F 3rd car, we have 5-8 days of slick snow per year (just enough to push me to FWD/AWD), and basically I could afford anything up to 50k. I don't take care of my cars beyond oil changes (e.g. no BMW tire plan for me, and maintenance = PITA to me).

$22k bought me a new 2007 GTI, has held up great, just $70 oil changes every 6 months for the past 12 years. Had been looking at Saab or Audi convertibles as competitors. That said, friend just spent $25k on a 2013 M3 convertible with 38k miles - RWD, and that looks fun/fast as heck. I'd consider a Volt if my GTI died - we have solar and I hate stopping/paying for gas.

So many choices, please let us know what you end up driving!

kenoryan
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by kenoryan » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:42 pm

I’m buying a Toyota Camry EXL for my wife tomorrow. Out the door price $28,200. It has the automatic breaks, lane assist, navigation cameras on all sides etc etc. plus 25,000 miles free oil changes and maintenance. Costco pricing.

fourwheelcycle
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by fourwheelcycle » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:42 pm

If you live in a no-snow area (Hawaii?) you should buy a new BMW M240i; if you live in a snow area you should by a new M240i xDrive. You should be able to get either one for under $50K. You should buy it new so you will have the pleasure of a new car with BMW's four year warranty coverage and so you will know the car has always been properly cared for and driven responsibly.

I bought a similar car ten years ago when I retired (then under $37K) and it has been great to drive! I expect to own the car another ten years or more - over that long a period depreciation is hardly an issue. The only non-warranty service my car has ever needed is a new battery and one set of brake rotors and pads.

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bottlecap
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by bottlecap » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:42 pm

If you’re single, get any car you want. You can afford it.

Don’t feel like you have to be wedded to a car, either. You can always sell it in a year and you won’t be losing much compared to your net worth or income.

Don’t think if you spend $50k on a car and don’t like it, you’re out $50k. Because you’re not.

JT

stoptothink
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by stoptothink » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:51 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:42 pm
If you’re single, get any car you want. You can afford it.

Don’t feel like you have to be wedded to a car, either. You can always sell it in a year and you won’t be losing much compared to your net worth or income.
+1, and I don't even own a car, I share an econobox with my wife even though we certainly have the means and (like you) I actually really like cars. You can reasonably afford whatever you want.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:09 pm

If you are nimble enough, buy the best condition, latest, lowest mileage Lotus Elise you can find.

I guarantee you that it will handle better than anything else in this thread. Go look around LotusTalk. Find the Uberthread. It has the things that need to be modified, fixed or changed to make this a super reliable car. Toyota 2ZZ engine and transmission, weighs less than 2000 pounds, so much aluminum (including the chassis) and composite, it takes real effort to find anything on the car that a magnet will stick to. Out accelerates lots of 300 hp cars with it's under 200 hp power plant with no torque. Add a supercharger, turbo or swap the engine to a Honda K-24 and there's virtually nothing that will out accelerate it.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

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Hawaiishrimp
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by Hawaiishrimp » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:51 pm

fourwheelcycle wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:42 pm
If you live in a no-snow area (Hawaii?) you should buy a new BMW M240i; if you live in a snow area you should by a new M240i xDrive. You should be able to get either one for under $50K. You should buy it new so you will have the pleasure of a new car with BMW's four year warranty coverage and so you will know the car has always been properly cared for and driven responsibly.

I bought a similar car ten years ago when I retired (then under $37K) and it has been great to drive! I expect to own the car another ten years or more - over that long a period depreciation is hardly an issue. The only non-warranty service my car has ever needed is a new battery and one set of brake rotors and pads.
I also consider the M240 convertible. Will you recommend the Extended Warranty? Thanks.
I save and invest my money, so money can make money for me, so I don't have to make money eventually.

Glockenspiel
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by Glockenspiel » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:24 pm

Hawaiishrimp wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:48 pm

My salary range is: $175k annually
Is this combined income? If so, I’d buy Mazda6, Honda Accord, or Toyota Camry Hybrid. If you really want to splurge, buy an Acura TL.

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Hawaiishrimp
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by Hawaiishrimp » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:29 pm

Glockenspiel wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:24 pm
Hawaiishrimp wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:48 pm

My salary range is: $175k annually
Is this combined income? If so, I’d buy Mazda6, Honda Accord, or Toyota Camry Hybrid. If you really want to splurge, buy an Acura TL.
Not combined, just mine.
I save and invest my money, so money can make money for me, so I don't have to make money eventually.

wootwoot
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by wootwoot » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:04 pm

B8.5 Audi S4 or S5, these were made from 2013 - 2016. Luxury, AWD, dual clutch transmission and supercharged. These cars have great 0-60 ability and wiith a tune and supercharger pulley you'll have around 450-500hp on tap. The best part about it is the car is low key so it's a real sleeper.

ssquared87
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by ssquared87 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:46 am

Hawaiishrimp wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:51 pm
fourwheelcycle wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:42 pm
If you live in a no-snow area (Hawaii?) you should buy a new BMW M240i; if you live in a snow area you should by a new M240i xDrive. You should be able to get either one for under $50K. You should buy it new so you will have the pleasure of a new car with BMW's four year warranty coverage and so you will know the car has always been properly cared for and driven responsibly.

I bought a similar car ten years ago when I retired (then under $37K) and it has been great to drive! I expect to own the car another ten years or more - over that long a period depreciation is hardly an issue. The only non-warranty service my car has ever needed is a new battery and one set of brake rotors and pads.
I also consider the M240 convertible. Will you recommend the Extended Warranty? Thanks.
The M240 isn't really worth it. The M2 is not all that much more if you pick similar options and the M2 drives a lot better. I've had both the M240 and the M2 on the track and while the M240 is pretty good, the M2 is friggin awesome.

The M2 offers more steering feel than the M240 (still numb compared to older cars but M2 is less numb than M240), and the engine is more responsive. The M2 handles much better as well. I think most of that is due to the limited slip differential, plus the suspension is tighter in the M2, and it has more camber so turn in is sharper.

If you drive on terrible roads, then perhaps the M240 would be a better choice, but the M2 is by no means harsh. The M2 has a better sounding engine compared to the M240. This may change on the 2019 model, as the S55 engine from the M3 will be used in the M2, and that engine sounds like garbage. While the 2019 M2 will have more power and some other upgrades vs the 2018, it will also cost $4k or so more, so then the price gap between the M2 and the M240 increases. For 2018, the gap isn't so big.

If you get an M2 prior to the 2019 model, it has a modified N55 engine. the standard 4 year/50k warranty should be fine. Its a pretty reliable engine. The 2019 will have the s55 engine from the M3 which has also proven reliable, but its a more complicated engine and an extended warranty would probably make sense on that version

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Hawaiishrimp
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by Hawaiishrimp » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:58 am

ssquared87 wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:46 am
The M240 isn't really worth it. The M2 is not all that much more if you pick similar options and the M2 drives a lot better. I've had both the M240 and the M2 on the track and while the M240 is pretty good, the M2 is friggin awesome.

The M2 offers more steering feel than the M240 (still numb compared to older cars but M2 is less numb than M240), and the engine is more responsive. The M2 handles much better as well. I think most of that is due to the limited slip differential, plus the suspension is tighter in the M2, and it has more camber so turn in is sharper.

If you drive on terrible roads, then perhaps the M240 would be a better choice, but the M2 is by no means harsh. The M2 has a better sounding engine compared to the M240. This may change on the 2019 model, as the S55 engine from the M3 will be used in the M2, and that engine sounds like garbage. While the 2019 M2 will have more power and some other upgrades vs the 2018, it will also cost $4k or so more, so then the price gap between the M2 and the M240 increases. For 2018, the gap isn't so big.

If you get an M2 prior to the 2019 model, it has a modified N55 engine. the standard 4 year/50k warranty should be fine. Its a pretty reliable engine. The 2019 will have the s55 engine from the M3 which has also proven reliable, but its a more complicated engine and an extended warranty would probably make sense on that version
Thanks for the detail break-down. I don't intend to track the car, and I love the idea of a open-top since I live in CA. Have you encountered or heard of any electronic issues with the car? My biggest worry is repair cost once the car is out of warranty. Thanks.
I save and invest my money, so money can make money for me, so I don't have to make money eventually.

TwstdSista
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by TwstdSista » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:58 am

I think Lexus makes an AWD competitor to the BRZ.... I also love the aggressive look of the new Camrys. And we've always been fans of the Lexus GS.

Get what makes you happy!
Last edited by TwstdSista on Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Chan_va
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by Chan_va » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:32 am

The right answer on any car thread is always - a Miata.

Fun, reliable, low cost, trackable..... ticks all your boxes.

fourwheelcycle
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by fourwheelcycle » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:57 am

Hawaiishrimp wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:51 pm
I also consider the M240 convertible. Will you recommend the Extended Warranty? Thanks.
My car has not needed any service except brakes and battery for six years after the original warranty ended, so I would not recommend the extended warranty. I used to have a 2003 Honda S2000 convertible. I loved the car, but I did not use it very much with the top down, so when I bought my 135i (first year model with twin turbo, similar to current M240 engine), I did not get the convertible.

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snackdog
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by snackdog » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:05 am

The Germans have major reliability issues. I would steer clear unless you like roadside assistance and service areas.

That leaves Americans and Japanese, which is not too bad. You can have a lot of fun for very little money. The most fun are probably a Camaro or a Miata, both of which can be very affordable. If you want style, get the Fiat version of the Miata. If you feel like a bad boy, get a used Camaro ZL1, convertible if you like.

Keep saving and don't waste too much on a dumb clown car. $30K max including TTL.

finite_difference
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by finite_difference » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:09 am

I vote used, 4 door Ferrari. :beer
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dsmclone
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by dsmclone » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:10 am

I bought a 2015 BMW 235ix w/ less than 20k miles. It's CPO and I got it for around $35k. This is my first BMW but my 20th+ car. About 80% of the cars I've bought have been Asian. So far, the BMW has been great and I'm not really worried about reliability. It's a proven motor and trans. I use this as a daily driver. I also considered a Camaro SS, Cayman (W/6cyl), etc. but driving either in the winter would have been a little bit of challenge.

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GoldStar
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Re: How much car to buy reasonably?

Post by GoldStar » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:22 am

You didn't mention whether or not you have kids. $175K with kids is very different than $175K without.

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